The Our Lady of Mercy became the second patroness of the Diocese of Novaliches after the declaration by Bishop Roberto Gaa.
The official declaration was during the Mass in celebration of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on January 1 at the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Quezon City’s Novaliches district. It was made following a petition filed by parish rector Fr. Peregrino Tomas, seeking to proclaim Mary under the said title as the “Mother of Novaliches.”
Mother of Novaliches
Citing part of the petition, Bishop Gaa said that 165 years ago, the shrine was the only parish in Novaliches. (Read: San Isidro Labrador Parish Church Is Now a Diocesan Shrine)
“And from her sprung so many offsprings and rightly so, she is Ina,” according to the bishop. “She is a mother. The mother of many parishes and the Mother of Novaliches.”
The Bishop added, “This is why when we received the petition, when we examined it, we deemed it worthy to start the process of formally taking on the name ‘Ina ng Novaliches.’”
Our Lady of Mercy
The Our Lady of Mercy parish houses three old images of the Our Lady of Mercy: the “Primera” or the original image brought by the Augustinians in 1856 and kept in her own retablo at the shrine’s second floor, the “Segunda” or the image usually used in processions and pilgrimages, and the “Tercera” or the life-sized image enshrined in the church’s altar.
Aside from being the diocese’s first parish, Fr. Tomas said that the devotion to Our Lady of Mercy has grown through the years with devotees coming from in and outside the diocese. “It may be noisy here, but here is where people pray. Here is where they talk and pour out their hearts to ‘Ina ng Awa.’” (Read: 5 Standout Shrines of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in the PH)
“Our mother is here, ‘Ina ng Novaliches’,” he said.